KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed his expectations for today's race, his thoughts on the bumps in the Tunnel Turn, the progress of his team this season and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE TODAY:
"Pocono has kind of turned into a track where I like coming to and seem to be always pretty quick whenever we come here. I got my first pole last year and this weekend I feel like we are pretty good. We were second quick in practice yesterday, second quick on the 20-lap average to (Kevin) Harvick. I'm hoping for good things today. I know it always changes in the race. There have been a lot of times where we have been really fast in practice and then kind of aren't quite as good in the race. Hopefully today is a little different and we can have a good run. Just try and carry on our momentum from last week and get a good finish today."
YESTERDAY IT WAS REALLY CLOUDY HERE. TODAY THE SUN IS SHINING BRIGHT HOW IS THAT GOING TO CHANGE THE TRACK CONDITIONS AS YOU GET OUT ONTO THIS REALLY UNIQUE COURSE?
"Most of the time it was cloudy and at the end of happy hour yesterday the sun kind of popped out for the last 15-20 minutes. You could definitely see the lap times fall off. Our car started driving a little bit worse. I think a lot of people are dealing with the same things we were. Just have to stay on top of it. I'm sure we will have to make quite a bit of adjustments throughout the race to keep up with the sun, since we haven't really practiced with much of it. We will just have to wait and see."
FELIX SABATES MADE CERTAIN PROMISES ABOUT YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE JAMIE MCMURRAY AT THE START OF THE SEASON. YOU HAVE HAD GOOD RUNS, BUT HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE NOW AT THIS PART OF THE YEAR COMPARED TO WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED?
"Well we are definitely not where we expected. I think that is kind of obvious for everybody to see. We haven't run quite as well as we did last year. I feel like we have had speed most weeks, just haven't finished where we have kind of ran most of the race. We have to get better at that. Yeah, Felix (Sabates) guaranteed a win for both of us I think and make the Chase. Me and Jamie (McMurray) both have some work to do. I feel like our teams are getting better. Jamie's team executes pretty good we just need to get better at that. We are getting better. Last week I thought we executed really well. Hopefully we can do that each and every week now."
YOU ARE COMING OFF YOUR FIRST TOP FIVE OF THE YEAR AT DOVER WHAT ARE YOU MISSING TO GET TO VICTORY LANE?
"I think to get to Victory Lane we just have to find a little bit more speed and then like I said earlier we have to execute better. I think we are getting closer we just have some work to do. It was nice to have that good run last week and hopefully carry some momentum into the rest of the year."
HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THE BUMP IN THE TUNNEL TURN? DO YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO AFFECT THE RACING?
"The first day we were here I thought the bump was really bad, but fun. Yesterday we got our car better there. I get through the Tunnel Turn really good now, that is probably my best corner. I feel like the bumps don't quite affect me nearly as bad as they did the first day. I don't know if they have gotten better as we have been running on them or if we have just gotten our car that much better. I feel like we get through the bumps pretty good. I think it is going to make the racing a little bit better because if the guy in front of you messes up a little bit and hits the bumps wrong, it will allow you to be able to pass them a little bit easier. It has added some character. We will just have to wait and see if that bump gets worse as the year goes on. Maybe they will have to make some changes to it."
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TURN AT POCONO?
"I think I get through the Tunnel Turn the quickest, but I like Turn 1 here because you can carry a lot of speed into the corner. It has a lot of grip so you can carry a lot of speed down in there and as soon as you get to the bottom you can pretty much go wide open. That corner is fun; the Tunnel Turn is really fun. Turn 3 is really tricky for me. I still haven't quite figured that corner out yet because it is really flat. So it's easy to get loose in while you down shift and then as you start picking up the throttle it is easy to get a big push. It's kind of hard to get through that corner, but Turns 1 and 2 I feel like I'm pretty good at."
WHERE DO YOU START SLOWING DOWN TO GET TO PIT ROAD?
"It's toward the exit of (Turn) 3 because Turn 3 is a long corner and then pit road is even further around the corner. You can run a normal Turn 3 until the exit and then you have to start lifting and then get to your pit road speed before the line."
THE DRIVER COUNCIL HAS BEEN A BIG TOPIC THE PAST WEEK OR SO. CAN YOU OFFER YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF BEING THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THAT AND ALSO SHED SOME LIGHT ON WHAT WAS DISCUSSED?
"I'm not going to shed light on what was discussed. I think it was a good successful meeting. I know everybody in that room and everybody in the garage wants to make this sport better. That is pretty much what that meeting was about. I thought it went well. I'm sure we will have more meetings and hopefully try to make the sport better than it is right now."
POCONO THIS WEEKEND, MICHIGAN, SONOMA AND THEN DAYTONA SOME PRETTY UNIQUE TRACKS AND DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRACK COMING UP. WHERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS HAVE THE BEST SHOT TO GET YOUR FIRST WIN?
"Well hopefully any of them, but I think Pocono is somewhere I ran good last year so maybe here. Both Michigan races last year I thought we had a chance to win. The first one had I not sped on pit road I think it would have cycled out where I would have been in front of Jimmie (Johnson) and then the second Michigan we had probably our best car I thought. And got into a pit road incident with (Dale Earnhardt) Junior and hurt our car and ended up blowing a right-front (tire). I hope we have that same speed going back there next week. That is a track where I really enjoying running. Hopefully just get a win anywhere. I don't really care where it comes. Here or Michigan will be good ones."
FOR A YOUNG DRIVER YOU RACE AT A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLACES. THERE IS OCCASIONAL TALK ABOUT SPRINT CUP GOING ELSE WHERE. ARE THERE PLACES WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CUP SERIES GO THAT WE DON'T RACE NOW?
"I haven't really thought about it much. Iowa would be a good one. I think road courses are exciting for us as drivers and also fans. I think if we could have one or two more road course races throughout the schedule, maybe one in the Chase that would be good and exciting and good for the sport. I don't know. I don't want to see Sprint Cup cars on a dirt track, as much as I like dirt. I don't know."
DOES THIS MEAN YOU ARE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SONOMA HERE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MORE ROAD COURSES?
"Yeah, I like Sonoma and it's close to home too. I get to go out there after Michigan for a couple of weeks really. That is going to be a fun trip because I'm going to go back to race a go kart where I ran growing up. That is going to be a lot of fun and yeah, Sonoma is a fun track. It wears out pretty quick and it is just exciting."